In September 1988, United Nations officials and affiliated climatologists made the Maldive islands in the Indian Ocean a “front line” of purported man-made global warming, predicting that within 30 years the tropical paradise could be completely covered by water.

Agence France-Presse reported three decades ago a “gradual rise in average sea level is threatening to completely cover this Indian Ocean nation of 1196 small islands within the next 30 years,” based on predictions made by government officials, the Daily Caller reported.

WND reported last month that 30 years have gone by since the “opening salvo” in the movement claiming mankind is causing catastrophic global warming, and the dire predictions of drastic temperature and sea-level rises “are well on their way to being falsified – and by a lot, not a little,” an energy expert contended.

In September 1988, then-Environmental Affairs Director Hussein Shihab told AFP “an estimated rise of 20 to 30 centimetres in the next 20 to 40 years could be ‘catastrophic’ for most of the islands, which were no more than a metre above sea level.”

The Maldives, along with its 200,000 inhabitants at the time, could “end” sooner than expected, AFP said, if drinking water supplies dry up by 1992 “as predicted.”

The Daily Caller noted that, today, more than 417,000 people live in the Maldives.

The highest point in the Maldives is about eight feet above sea level, but there is research suggesting the Maldives and other coral islands may actually be expanding rather than sinking.

Aerial photos and satellite images of Pacific islands over the last four decades found most of the examined atolls were increasing in size. The results confirm a 2015 study that found the Maldives seem to be showing a similar effect.

The island nation was among the first to apply for Green Climate Fund aid, but the funding hasn’t been flowing, according to the New York Times.

Opening salvo

On June 24, 1988, Philip Shabecoff declared in a New York Times article that global warming had begun.

Shabecoff wrote that if “the current pace of the buildup of these gases continues, the effect is likely to be a warming of 3 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit [between now and] the year 2025 to 2050.”

He also predicted a consequent rise in sea levels of “one to four feet by the middle of the next century.”

In August, Rob Bradley Jr., the CEO and founder of the Institute for Energy Research, described Shabecoff’s claim as the “opening salvo” of global-warming activism, and also pointed to the failure of claims made by NASA climate scientist James Hansen and Al Gore.

Bradley, who has testified before the U.S. Congress as one of the nation’s leading experts on the history and regulation of energy markets, argued that the mid-point of Shabecoff’s predicted warming would be six degrees.

“At the thirty-year mark, how is it looking?” Bradley asked. “The increase is about one degree – and largely holding (the much-discussed ‘pause’ or ‘warming hiatus’).”

He also pointed out that the world has naturally warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age, which is “a good thing if climate economists are to be believed.”

Regarding sea-level rise, Bradley wrote, “the exaggeration appears greater.”

“Both before and after the 1980s, decadal sea-level rise has been a few inches. And it has not been appreciably accelerating,” he noted.

Shabecoff was reporting a model based on the predictions of Hansen and Michael Oppenheimer.

Bradley wrote that the predictions “constitute yet another exaggerated Malthusian scare, joining those of the population bomb (Paul Ehrlich), resource exhaustion (Club of Rome), Peak Oil (M. King Hubbert), and global cooling (John Holdren).”

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